Descending into Lake Oberon

The inspiration for Descending into Lake Oberon came from undertaking the multi-day, Western Arthurs Traverse in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park early January this year. The walk is famous for its deep, glacial lakes and mercurial, unforgiving weather. When you’re at the top of these peaks, you get a sense that you’re not meant to be there. That’s why the lakes are named after Greek gods. As we descended into Lake Oberon on the third day, the weather was sublime and there was a sense of relief that we would be spending the afternoon resting by a beautiful lake and enjoying the sun. We felt like the treacherous mountain weather had abated, if only for a short while and we knew the driving rain and wind would return shortly. But for the time being, we were happy to dry our clothes, wash in the lake and eat food.

One of the most captivating features of the alpine landscape was the strong contrast between the granite rocks, gilded with lichen, and the heathy, wind-battered mosses, forbs and shrubs. This became especially noticeable when there was a bit of cloud cover and light rain (which was most of the time). I have tried to capture this contrast with the thick, grey brushstrokes for the blocks of granite and the choppier, more intense, green brushstrokes for the vegetation. Occasionally, the mottled greys and greens during our walk would be delightfully punctuated by pale-yellows of paper daises and the rich reds of the blandfordias. ‘Lake Oberon’ tries to capture the rambling nature of this mystical Tasmanian mountain range.

Elizabeth Beaumont

2018, Highly Commended